'What do we want?' is the first study of the most far-reaching and innovative Aboriginal land rights laws in the country. Heidi Norman tells a story full of possibility, tensions and entanglements as Aboriginal people took up the political demand of self-determination and worked to address their community disadvantage, all the while grappling with the expectations of government.
The laws, passed in 1983 by the Wran Labor Government, provided a mechanism for recovering land and the fifteen-year funding stream, to compensate for loss of land and culture, was intended to fund the more than 120 representative Aboriginal land councils, as well as support Aboriginal-run enterprises.
Yet chronic disadvantage continues for many Aboriginal people in NSW and Aboriginal land councils are yet to fully realise the expectations of their members.
'What do we want?' reveals the challenges of Aboriginal adjustment to modernity as Land Councils focus their efforts on profitable enterprises to resource community social and cultural initiatives.
- Released May 2015
- ISBN 9781922059901
About The Author
Heidi Norman is a Senior Lecturer in the Social and Political Change group, core member of CCS and member of the Southern Theory and Environment and Communication Programs. She researchers and publishes in the areas of NSW Aboriginal history and politics with a particular focus on land and its management and the Aboriginal administrative domain.
Her Aboriginal Land rights in NSW study, is a critical account of the interface between the Government’s construction of Aboriginal interests in land and the emerging governance of those land and interests by Aboriginal citizens through their land councils. She is a descendant of the Gomeroi people in north-western NSW.
About The Cover
Front cover: 'Children protesting: Wran Give Us Our Land'. Photograph by Elaine Syron, NSWALC.
Back cover: Heidi Norman. Photograph by Barbara McGrady.